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USD 265 Goddard At-Large BOE

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  • Shane P. Dent
    (N)

  • Kevin R. McWhorter
    (N)

  • Mark Richards
    (N)

  • Ginger Rose
    (N)

  • Jon S. Weakley
    (N)

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    Ruth A. Wood
    (N)

Biographical Information

What is your experience with the school district? Why do you want to serve this district at this time?

What roll do you think that schools in your district have in addressing the mental health of students and teachers?

What can your school district do to increase civic involvement of students? Where is civic involvement in your priority list for school activities?

What is the most important issue facing the District in the next 4 years?

What is your view about state funding going to support tuition to non-Public schools?

Should the school district re-examine the public busing being offered to public schools?

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Personal Biography Lived in Wichita since the age of 1 and in the Goddard district since 1999. Graduated from Southeast High School and Wichita State University. Spent my entire education career in the Goddard school district. Now serving on the Goddard Board of Education.
Campaign Phone (316) 304-4948
Campaign Email rawood27@cox.net
Education BA and 2 Masters Degrees in Education from Wichita State. Numerous continuing education graduate hours.
Community/Public Service 8 years on the Goddard B.O.E. Member of the Goddard Women's Club, a group that does volunteer/service work
I retired from the Goddard District after 39 years. During that time I taught at the middle level for 28 years and was an elementary principal for 11 years. While teaching, I was also an officer in the Goddard Education Association, which allowed me to work with teachers at all levels. I have served on the BOE for 8 years. All of these positions have given me experience in curriculum, special education, budgeting/bonds, facilities, school improvement, negotiations and working with a variety of people. These are all areas that are discussed at B.O.E. meetings. I am running for re-election because I want to continue to help and be a part of the best district. I feel I have skills as an educator that can still be beneficial to the board. I also have been associated with several initiatives I hope I can help come to fruition.
Since we need to educate the entire student we have to be cognizant of their emotional and social needs. These needs are so crucial to their ability to learn. Our teachers are the ones who see the students on a daily basis, so they can best assess those needs and seek and provide help for them. They are truly our people on the front line. In the same manner the administration must constantly be aware of the mental health status of their staff and address those needs as well. It has been especially difficult for staff during the pandemic, so we need to be even more aware of possible problems. It is very difficult for staff to provide assistance to students if they are having mental health issues of their own. Mental health is such an important area that besides our counselors, we now have social workers in every school. We are also working to develop a partnership with KU Med so they can help us with resources and expertise in this area.
I think our schools can help civic involvement in a vital area by continuing to stress the importance of our right to vote. We have the election process being discussed in classes and mock elections being held throughout the district. We also provide our 18 year olds the opportunity to register to vote. We stress that it truly is your civic duty to be a part of the election process and to vote. Volunteering is another area for civic involvement. The importance of volunteering is presented and opportunities provided to help the students become involved. Many of our school clubs, teams and organizations have volunteering hours as a goal for their group. All of these activities are encouraged because being an involved citizen is a high priority in our district. The students learn that volunteering is a great way to give back to the community. It is also one of the reasons I originally ran for the BOE.
Our greatest challenge has been and will for the next 4 years continue to be, our growth. We need to constantly look ahead to determine what might need to be done with facilities and staff to address future growth, so our students can continue to be successful. With limited monies, this is always a challenge. After determining needs, a first step may have to be acquiring additional land. Then we will decide if a bond is needed and what our patrons will support. It is a long process with some possible temporary fixes. We are lucky to have such supportive patrons that have passed bonds for facilities. But we will still have to have the funding to staff them and provide the necessary resources for the staff to effectively do their jobs. In addressing growth, our priority will be to maintain the “small town feeling” of our district being like family. This has always been what families and staff have said made them love being a part of the Goddard school district.
I feel giving public funds to non-public schools is a direct assault on our public school system. Our public schools are the backbone of our country and this is an attempt to privatize our schools. It is all about those private groups making money. An educated public is what keeps are society at its best. Whether you call it vouchers, grants or scholarships, it is state money being used to the detriment of public schools. Our state legislature is charged with funding public education. Nothing in the constitution says they should be providing monies for private schools. This is especially true since non-public schools are not held to the same accountability to the state as our public schools. A private school does not have to provide services to ALL students. They can choose not to enroll a special needs student. Public schools do their best to educate everyone and need the state funding to do so.
I'm not familiar with using public busing for schools, as the Goddard district has always owned their buses/vehicles. I believe this is the best system because we also hire our drivers and transportation personnel. This gives us the opportunity to do background checks on anyone who will be having contact with our students. If there is an issue, we would be immediately aware and be the entity to handle it. You can't be sure if this is happening with public transportation personnel. So, I think this might be an area a district would want to re-examine. Maybe look at contracting with another school district to provide that service?